One of the best parts about running a company serving jiu-jitsu players is the incredible stories we hear from our customers.
We love Jake's story because of his indisputable passion for BJJ and despite his young age, he started and continued his beautiful journey.
When i was 5, I always saw the commercials for a local karate place near me and i always asked my mom if i could try it out. She then mentioned something about it to my grandmother and she saw a flyer for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu lessons and signed me up for it. And almost 12 years later i'm still doing jiu-jitsu as often as i can!
The biggest obstacle in my journey so far is my own mind. It's easy to train and get stronger and faster, but it's really tough to overcome mental barriers, whether that be getting nervous before tournaments or trying to fully understand every single little step involved with a move and figuring out how it works and why. That kind of stuff takes time to improve on.
My best submission story is from my first fight at purple belt. It was at the IBJJF Miami Winter Open, and it was just me and a friend out there. And for me it was scary if i'm being honest because i was only 17, i had neither of my parents there with me, and it was my first fight in the adult purple belt division. And me being only 17 and fighting people up to 29 years old is a lot different than fighting in the juvenile blue belt division. But back to the point, I had just lost my first fight in a super close refs decision, and was feeling a little down. But out of the blue, i realized that i was in miami which is around 1,000 miles away from my house in new jersey, doing the thing i love, and that this really isn't anything i can complain about. After that, my nerves subsided and i was completely calm and at peace with myself. Then i had my second fight and finished it with a flying armbar in 45 seconds and ended up taking 2nd place in my first ever tournament in the adult purple belt division.
If i could give one piece of advice, i would say that the best people in the world didn't just get there overnight. it took hours and hours of hard work physically and mentally for them to get there. So don't be hard on yourself after a loss in a tournament, take what you learned and fix the holes in your game. Sometimes your worst defeats can lead to your greatest victories.
You can find Jake on Instagram at @jakecolalilobjj.